Access to Commuinty Radio and its role in alleviating poverty in Zambia: A case study of Mazabuka Community Radio
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This research was about access to community radio and the role of community radio in alleviating poverty in Zambia; a case study of radio Mazabuka Community Radio station. The general objective of this study was to investigate whether the people of Mazabuka have access to Mazabuka Community Radio and the role Mazabuka Community Radio station plays in alleviating poverty in Mazabuka district. The specific objectives of study were: To establish the extent to which Mazabuka radio is accessed by the community they are perceived to be serving; To find out whether there are gender biases in community participation to the radio station programs; To establish the extent of poverty among people living in the communities of Mazabuka district that are served by Mazabuka Community Radio; and To find out ways in which the radio station is relevant in alleviating poverty in Mazabuka district. The sample size of this study was 100 respondents for a semi-structured questionnaire and 5 respondents for the one-on-one interviews and two Focus Group Discussions. The 100 respondents were composed of 50% rural respondents and the other 50% were urban respondents. All the interviewees were members of staff at Mazabuka community Radio station. Cluster sampling was used to select samples from rural and urban areas. The target population was all members of Mazabuka community both urban and rural who were 18 years and above. The research discovered that there was great deal of community participation from the people of Mazabuka in the affairs and programs of the radio station in some aspects such as phoning in, although there was poor participation in other aspects such as participation in live community development programs as a discussant as well as participating in electing board members. The research further revealed that there is a great deal of gender bias against women towards their participation in the affairs and the programs of Mazabuka Community Radio station. The reseach further discovered that the majority listenership of Mazabuka Community Radio is classified as poor; however the poverty levels are higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The reseach further discovered that Mazabuka Community Radio is very relevant in the fight against poverty as well as in its general existence and development of Mazabuka district. Although the reseach shows a great deal of participation of the local people in affairs of the radio station, there is need for the radio station to increase the participation of women.